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Warner to probe detainees’ beating
National Security Minister Jack Warner says he has initiated investigations into the reported beating last week of detainees at the Immigration Detention Centre, Aripo. In a brief interview yesterday, Warner said he had no details on the matter and could not comment. “It would be inappropriate for me to comment at this stage. I have requested some information about this and I will speak on it after I get details,” Warner said. He could not say how soon he expected to get a report of the incident.
Meanwhile, Winston Lopez, the manager of the centre, denied inmates had been beaten by soldiers and police. “I don’t know where you got that information. On Thursday they had a protest and we made a complaint to the director of the Organisation of Law-Enforcement Policy. They sent the police,” Lopez said. Asked who had authorised the soldiers to respond to the protest, Lopez said the police were on joint patrol with the army and responded when they received the call about the protest.
Lopez admitted that force was used to subdue the protesters. He added: “The detainees refused to comply with the instruction and they used whatever force was necessary to get them back into detention. Asked to explain what kind of force was used, Lopez said: “There was no beating here.” Yesterday, Opposition Senator Fitzgerald Hinds said the repatriation process for the detainees was not a simple one and he would make a more detailed statement on the issue.
Chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee Khafra Kambon, who alerted the T&T Guardian to the plight of the detainees, has called on the international community to investigate violation of human rights at the centre.
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